Have you ever had an ache or pain in your tooth that has caused your discomfort while eating, drinking, or all on it’s own? Most people at one time or another have suffered from a toothache or tooth related pain. There are many factors that can influence mouth pain. Anything from sensitivity to tooth decay can cause varying degrees of discomfort.
It is often difficult to determine what the source of the pain is caused by without the insight of a professional. However, not all aches and pains are signs of underlying issues and there are a few factors and symptoms you can take into consideration before deciding to visit your dentist. However, if the pain does not go away within a week, you should book an appointment with your dentist.
Factors That Can Cause Toothaches And Pain
Here are a few of the most common reasons behind toothaches and pain :
If you experience sharp pains or aching when you eat hot or cold foods, this may indicate that you have sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth can be caused by a number of factors including genetics, age, enamel erosion, cracked teeth, or receded gums. Sometimes sweet or acidic foods may also leave individuals with sensitive teeth in discomfort.
Fortunately, if you have sensitive teeth, there are lots of simple treatment options. Most commonly, using toothpaste for sensitive teeth controls and solves the problem. In some cases, dental consultation and treatment are needed, but this is rare.
An abscessed tooth is a very painful infection between the gums and the root of the tooth. Most commonly, this is caused by advanced tooth decay. Sometimes cracked, broken, or chipped teeth may also result in an abscess, as well as in some cases of gingivitis and periodontitis. Abscesses must be treated as the infection can spread to the pulp and sometimes the bone surrounding the tooth. A common treatment for abscesses is root canal and medication.
You can recognize an abscessed tooth by a few symptoms including fever, moderate to severe pain, bitter taste in the mouth, foul-smelling breath, swollen glands, discomfort, illness, redness of the gums, bleeding, and draining sores on the side of the gums. If you have any of these symptoms along with your toothache, you should book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Cracked, chipped, or enamel that has been damaged or eroded over time. Grinding your teeth in your sleep is one of the most common causes of eroding tooth enamel, leaving your teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to decay and other issues.
If your tooth is cracked or damaged in any way, you will need to see your dentist for treatment and sometimes a filling or reconstruction may be required. For grinding, a night guard may be purchased or custom made to prevent the individual from grinding. Stress is often a contributing factor when it comes to grinding, so consulting a therapist or friends is sometimes also recommended.
Caries, also more commonly known as cavities, are an infection of the enamel, resulting in a hole or holes in the tooth. Cavities are a type of tooth decay, which must be treated with a filling in order to stop the infection and decay. You can’t always tell if you have a cavity, which is why you should regularly visit the dentist, twice annually for cleaning and checkups to help you maintain healthy teeth.
A sinus infection or sinus pressure may result in tooth pain or a toothache. This usually happens in the upper teeth, the ones closest to the sinuses. Swelling may occur, causing your teeth to ache. However, this should only be temporary because as the swelling from the infection goes down, the aching should disappear as well. If the tooth pain lasts beyond 7 days of recovering from the infection, you should see your dentist.
20 Effective Home Remedies For Toothaches And Pain Relief
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an oral hygiene technique used for centuries by many cultures. It is called oil pulling because you use oil to “pull” bacteria and toxins away from your teeth. Oil pulling is done by swishing a tablespoon or so of oil in your mouth for ten to twenty (10-20) minutes. Oil pulling is typically done with coconut, sesame, or olive oil. On top of treating toothaches, oil pulling has also been shown to:
- Whiten teeth
- Kill bad breath
- Prevent Cavities
- Soothe dry throat
- Strengthen gums
Oil pulling is a cheap, effective way to help your toothache, with many other benefits.
Warm salt water is one of the most commonly mentioned home cures for a toothache. First, heat up 8 ounces of water. This can be done in a microwave, with a pot, or straight from the tap. Only allow the water to get warm. Your toothache could be caused by sensitivity, and a cup of hot water would only make it worse. Place ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt in the warm water. Stir until the salt is dissolved. The salt water “draws” fluid out of the area of the toothache, reduce pressure on your nerve endings caused by swollen tissue.
Peppermint has natural numbing properties. This means it can be used to cure a toothache quite effectively. Common methods use peppermint oil, peppermint tea, or peppermint tea bags. If using peppermint oil, a small amount should be applied to a cotton swab or q-tip. This should then be applied to the area of the toothache. When using peppermint tea bags–used or unused– you should press the tea bag against the area of the toothache and hold it there for 20 minutes. When using peppermint tea, simply drink the tea as you would any other hot beverage, making sure to swish the tea over the area of the toothache. Keep in mind your toothache could be caused by sensitivity, so you should allow the tea to cool a bit after making it.
Garlic is one of the most popular home remedies for a toothache. Garlic has a few compounds in it that combine to form allicin, a natural antibiotic. When garlic is crushed, the allicin will be released. Simply apply a crushed clove of garlic to the affected tooth in order to relieve the pain. You can also mix the garlic rock salt for the added antibacterial benefits. Between the garlic and the salt, it may kill the infection that is ailing you, or at the very least, help to relieve some of the pain before you can get a chance to visit a dentist while keeping cleaner with fewer bacteria, thanks to the allicin in the garlic.
Cloves have been used for centuries to relieve toothache pain and fight bacteria. You can either use cloves as a paste or clove oil to help your toothache. In either case, you can apply the clove paste or oil directly to your tooth to sooth it naturally. The compound eugenol found in cloves is known to be a soothing agent, relieving pain. However, eugenol tends to be more concentrated in clove oil, so keep that in mind when deciding how to treat your toothache or pain at home. Since clove oil is completely non-toxic and edible, you don’t need to rinse. But, try to keep the clove in place as long as possible for best results.
Turmeric has many natural benefits that make it an excellent toothache remedy. This spice is well-known for its pain relief, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. Simply add a teaspoon of turmeric to a small amount of water and mix to create a paste. This can be applied directly to the area or applied by first putting it on a cotton ball, then putting the cotton ball in your mouth.
7. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is a simple, common, household cooking ingredient, but it can also act as a great toothache relieving agent when you’re in a pinch. To use, simply apply a small amount of oil to a q-tip, and apply the oil to the affected area. You’ll need to reapply every few hours as the pain returns. Oregano works to help your mouth because it is an antibacterial agent, while also reducing pain and swelling. Oregano has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties which help reduce swelling and reduce pains and aches. The Carvacrol found in oregano oil is responsible for this result.
8. Hydrogen Peroxide
You’ve probably used hydrogen peroxide on a small cut before to help disinfect and soothe it. But did you know that you can use it for your toothache? Hydrogen peroxide can be used to reduce pain and swelling while fighting off any bacteria that may be causing the pain. To use peroxide for your tooth pain, you should use 3% hydrogen peroxide to rinse with for 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with water. You can repeat this twice a day, or whenever the pain returns. This is a temporary treatment, like all DIY remedies, so you should still see your dentist if the pain persists.
Sometimes, a very old remedy that has been around for a long time can do the trick to stop your toothache. You can use whiskey or brandy for this remedy. The alcohol will help to relieve the pain and disinfect the area. To use, you can soak a cotton ball in the whiskey or brandy, and apply the cotton ball to your tooth. You can keep applying the remedy whenever the pain returns until you can get yourself to the dentist.
10. Nutmeg Oil
Nutmeg oil is a little-known toothache solution that many people swear by for relieving tooth-related aches and pains. To use this natural toothache treatment method, use a few drops of nutmeg oil with a cotton swab before applying it to the affected area. You can repeat this process a few times a day to relieve pain.
11. Vanilla Extract
Believe it or not, something as sweet as vanilla may be able to help you with your tooth-related aches and pains. Make sure you use pure vanilla extract before you begin, but natural or organic extract is even better. Vanilla extract has both antiseptic and analgesic properties, which means that it can disinfect and relieve pain quickly. To use, apply 2 or 3 drops of the extract to a cotton ball, and apply the soaked cotton ball to the affected area for pain relief.
Ginger root has the incredible abilities to decrease swelling, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain. This makes it a wonderful toothache remedy. Simply grind, dice, or powder some ginger root and add it to water. Mix this into a thick paste. Take a cotton ball and cover it in the paste, then apply the cotton ball to the affected tooth. Be careful to keep the cotton away from your gums, since it can cause irritation. This remedy will immediately help with the pain as well as prevent future pain.
Onions aren’t everyone’s favorite, but they may be a very good toothache solution for you. Onions contain mineral compounds that kill bacteria and soothe pains and aches. All you need to do is cut up some onion and apply it to the tooth for a few minutes, twice a day. You might want to rinse afterward because onions tend to cause bad breath.
14. Olive Oil
You probably have some olive oil in your kitchen. You might use it for cooking, but you can also use it to help stop any tooth-related pain you may be having until you can get in to see your dentist for a checkup. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory because it has phenolic compounds, relieving pain and swelling. To use olive oil for your toothache, you can apply a few drops of olive oil to a cotton ball and press it to the affected area, or swish a small amount around in your mouth before rinsing well.
15. Cinnamon and Honey
Cinnamon on its own can provide both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help with toothaches but can be combined with honey which has antiseptic properties for a very good combination of bacteria fighting and pain soothing. To use, combine a teaspoon of cinnamon and 3-4 teaspoons of honey and mix them into a paste before applying the paste to the affected area. You can apply this a few times a day until a toothache disappears, or you go to see your dentist. This combination tastes pretty sweet too!
16. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves will reduce the swelling. Even though it’s a bit of process to prepare the leaves, it’s worth it because the guava will bring down the swelling and relieve the pain. Bring a small pot of water to boil, then add a pinch of salt, as well as a few guava leaves. Then, once the water has cooled, rinse your mouth with the water before chewing the boiled leaves to relieve the pain and swelling. Make sure to rinse your mouth afterward, and do this twice daily.
Asafetida will relieve your toothache almost instantly, which is why we recommend this remedy, especially if you’re suffering from moderate to severe pain, or the pain is caused by a cavity. If you have very bad pain, you will need to see your dentist as soon as possible. However, in the meantime, you can use asafetida to soothe your pain. Mix pinch of asafetida powder and a tablespoon of lemon juice, then soak a cotton ball in the mixture to apply to your tooth. Asafetida is both antiviral and antifungal, so it will improve your overall oral health as well.
18. Black Seed Oil
There has been a lot of recent and promising research into the positive effects of black seed oil, especially for oral health. Black seed oil is antimicrobial and reduces pain and swelling in affected areas of the mouth. You can use black seed oil by applying some to a Q-tip and massaging the affected area for 15 to 30 seconds before rinsing with warm water. It’s best to repeat this process twice daily until a toothache goes away or you see your dentist.
19. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a wonderful multi-purpose tool for everything to cooking and cleaning, to relieving oral discomfort. It is anti-inflammatory, so it will relieve any swelling you may have, and it is also antibacterial, so it will help to fight and fend off infection. You can mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with water, then rinse your mouth thoroughly, and repeat twice daily for relief.
Last, but certainly not least, you can rinse your mouth with a bit of myrrh. Myrrh is an astringent, which means it with kill bacteria and reduces inflammation. Boil two cups of water and one tablespoon of myrrh on low, then let the mixture cool. Rinse with the mixture 5-6 times daily for relief.
When To See The Dentist
If a toothache doesn’t go away within a week or so, you should book an appointment with your dentist, because they will have better insight into what’s going on. As a guide, we’d like to go over the top ten signs you should visit your dentist, outside of your regular biannual checkups.
A prolonged toothache or pain
If you have any prolonged ache or pain, it’s probably time to book an appointment with your dentist. Tooth pain could mean any number of things, from sensitivity to an abscess. A general rule of thumb is that if the pain does not go away within a week or it gets worse, you should go see your dentist.
Inflamed or irritated gums
Swollen or inflamed gums, whether they are tender or not, are usually a pretty good reason to visit your dentist. Inflamed gums may be caused by plaque or tartar, or something more serious such as gum disease. Another indicator that you may have gum related issues is if you experience bleeding when you brush, commonly referred to as “pink in the sink.”
Metallic taste in your mouth
Does it taste like you’ve been sucking on coins? If so, a metallic taste in your mouth is sometimes a sign of gingivitis. This sometimes may lead to bad breath as well. If you experience this symptom, it may be time to visit your dentist.
You have white spots on your teeth
One of the first signs of dental decay is white spots appearing on your teeth. Cavities can appear with no other signs, so if you catch a white spot, you should head to your dentist. Dental decay is characterized by the infection eating away at the enamel, which is why white spots appear.
There are a lot of reasons behind dry mouth including being a side effect of taking prescription drugs. But in cases where there is no other explanation, it could be a sign of infection or disease, so you should see your dentist.
Sensitivity (especially new sensitivity)
If you experience sensitivity, it can be natural and normal and nothing to be worried about, beyond changing toothpaste and being more careful about how and what you eat. However, sometimes sensitivity may indicate an underlying problem, especially when tooth sensitivity seems to appear out of nowhere.
Canker sores can be very common in some individuals, but if any mouth sore doesn’t go away within a few days, you should call your dentist. Especially in cases where the score is accompanied by a fever or consistent pain, book an appointment.
Changes in mouth color and consistency
When you brush your teeth twice a day every day, you should check to make sure that everything stays consistent in color and that you don’t develop and unusual lumps or bumps. There are a number of explanations for these kinds of changes, but you should always visit your dentist for a professional opinion.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Bad breath is usually a sign of infection, but not always. In any case, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist as bad breath may indicate anything from an imbalance to a tooth abscess.
When you’re pregnant, your current dental problems may worsen due to the changes in your body. Especially in cases where the mother has conditions like preeclampsia or prenatal diabetes, it’s critical that you see your dentist as soon as possible.